We live in a time that recommends achieving personal growth through the having of rewarding experiences. Among those experiences, architects hope, are experiences of wonderful buildings. Benedikt argues that this experientialism (as he calls it) turns architecture into a form of entertainment, or a facilitator thereof, rather than what it could and should be, which is not, alternatively, a gateway to heavenly serenity, but rather, an exemplar and facilitator of non-instrumental, second-person, I-You relationships between people, animals, rooms, and things.
Michael Benedikt is the Director of the Center for American Architecture and Design (CAAD) at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Hal Box Chair in Urbanism and teaches design studio and architectural theory. He is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and of Yale University.
Source by UNSW Built Environment
If recent theory has highlighted architecture’s turn to evident resemblance and signification, we argue this tendency has also produced its other: The landscape of contemporary practice is filled with work whose motivating interests are anterior to meaning and averse to thematization; they are, in a way, pre-speech. Projects in this mode are born of the original human postulate to claim a place in the world, to confirm having been there, to make and mark a difference. “Inscriptions” is a broad survey of work that problematizes, resists, and exceeds signification by appealing to other kinds of cultural engagements, agreements, and fantasies of architecture’s origins. Important projects by Harvard University Graduate School of Design faculty spanning more than 35 years of practice are interspersed as conceptual keystones among works from emerging architects across the American academy, offering a theory of the structural relationships that bind and organize even the apparent delirium of the contemporary field.
Conversation recorded with Stéphanie Dadour in Paris on June 11, 2015
Source by The Funambulist Podcast
09/08/2015 Charles Waldheim will present material from his forthcoming book Landscape as Urbanism: A General Theory (Princeton University Press). Waldheim argues that the discourse and practices of landscape urbanism represent the third historical moment in the past two centuries in which landscape has been called upon to absorb the shocks associated with transformations in industrial economy. Rather than a simply stylistic or cultural question, the talk describes a structural relationship between landscape as a medium of design, and transformations in the industrial economies that enable processes of urbanization. Charles Waldheim is John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard GSD.
At a moment of dissolution in design, technique is all an architect can grasp. Techniques occupy a beautifully indeterminate void on the fault line between theory and practice. Spared of reductive allegiance to either, design techniques are uniquely powerful. A technique may disrupt, innovate, communicate, or surprise. At the same time, techniques stand as silent markers of membership—opaque envelops delimiting communities of colleagues.
This symposium, the first event in the series "All that is solid...," interrogates the motivations, instruments, influences, justifications, effects, and origins of contemporary design techniques. Ultimately technique is how novelty manifests itself in architecture, expanding and advancing the inner core of our discipline. Introduction by Iñaki Abalos, with presentations by: Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, Johnston Marklee & Associates, Los Angeles, California, Harvard GSD Design Critic in Architecture Jeannette Kuo, Karamuk Kuo Architekten, Zurich, Switzerland Philippe Rahm, Philippe Rahm Architectes, Paris, France, Harvard GSD Design Critic in Architecture Camilo Restrepo Ochoa, Camilo Restrepo Arquitectos, Medellin, Colombia, Harvard GSD Design Critic in Architecture Responses and panel discussion moderated by: Neil Leach, European Graduate School Professor, University of Southern California Adjunct Professor, NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Fellow, Harvard GSD Visiting Professor in Architecture Carles Muro, architects Barcelona, Harvard GSD Design Critic in Architecture and Urban Design Supported by the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities
Architect and educator Tom Wiscombe has made major inroads as SCI-Arc's BArch chair to establish a stronger connection to the humanities and critical theory in architecture education, founding the school's Liberal Arts Program last year and bringing in contemporary philosophers and theorists to spark new dialogues. We discuss his role in the southern Californian architecture culture (particularly in regards to MOCA's 2013 New Sculpturalism show), how he prioritizes theory in architectural practice and education, and his ongoing Main Museum of Los Angeles project in the city's enlivened downtown.
Source by Archinect
Lecture date: 1997-06-03
In a lecture provisionally entitled The Structural Impulse: Towards a New Theory of Post Modernism Hal Foster explores the ethnographic turn in recent theory and artistic practice. He presents a series of statements arguing that the world is now witnessing the emergence of a new strain of art and theory that seek to be grounded in actual bodies and social sites.
Foster is one of the most influential art critics at work today. He is Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University and former Professor of Art History at Cornell. He is a regular contributor to various journals including October and the London Review of Books, editor of the influential essay collection The Anti-Aesthetic, and author of several books including Compulsive Beauty; The Return of the Real; Design and Crime; and Prosthetic Gods.
NB: Questions almost inaudible during Q & A.
Charles Jencks AB ’61 BArch ’65 is a cultural theorist, landscape designer, and architecture historian.
Among his many influential books are Meaning in Architecture (1969), The Language of Post-Modern Architecture (1977), Adhocism: The Case for Improvisation (with Nathan Silver, 1972), The Daydream Houses of Los Angeles (1978), Bizarre Architecture (1979), and The Architecture of the Jumping Universe (1997).
He is also co-founder of the Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres, named for his late wife Maggie Keswick, and has written about this project in The Architecture of Hope (2015).
Jencks has taught and lectured widely and served on numerous juries and selection committees; his work has been recognized with numerous awards and honorary degrees. As a landscape designer, Jencks has completed several projects in Scotland, including the Garden of Cosmic Speculation (2007) and Jupiter Artland (2010).
In his lecture, he will speak about his ongoing project the Crawick Multiverse, about which he writes: The cosmos is almost the measure of all things and provides a referent and subject, a focus otherwise hard to find in present day society. With a few architects the patterns of nature and the architecture of the universe have partly reemerged as a shared meaning and iconography. At the same time the Multiverse has emerged on the agenda among scientists. Is this now a subject of thought and ultimate meaning? I have explored it in the architecture of the multiverse, an unfinished project. Where it leads, the imagination follows.
Lecture date: 1975-01-18
Day 2 PM - Speakers Colin Rowe and Dalibor Veseley
Colin Rowe “The dematerialization of the object seems to have been running for so long, that I wonder if the object might have already disappeared by now.” It seems to be, though, extraordinarily persistent. My first quote is somewhat churchy: “In the beginning was the word. And the word was with god and the word was god.” “The word was made flesh and lived amongst us.” I take it in a way it can be translated as “in the beginning there was the idea and the concept.” Can the word be made flesh? I present this as a theme for discussion, should the word be made flesh? Does it make it more intelligible? Does it adulterate it? For Rowe, all these questions have affirmative answers. The next quote, he recognizes, is equally churchy: "The law came in, that the offense might abound” that is a much more difficult statement to handle. Does it mean that the typical has a value as validating the exception? The ground stimulates the intimate appreciation of figure. The former quote is what Lewis Strauss might call the precarious balance between the structure and the event. Tradition can be understood as betrayal of principle. In the University of Texas, a long time ago, there was what was called the ‘religious emphasis week’ it didn’t matter which religion did you emphasized, we only wanted people to emerge and feel religious. One would like to bring someone like Duchamp into a parallel with Fernand Leger; Duchamp seems to me to be lucid and illuminating and entertaining and all that; fragile, poetic, lyrical. Whereas surely, by comparison, we would find Leger turgid, opaque, heavy. The maison domino is kind of a conceptual necessity, but in reality this thing has to be modified because of the exigencies of perception. I am a little baffled (I am waiting to be instructed) by accepting these kind of zen moments, in which one something has to react to something that it is not quite there. Again is the presence of absence: in order to the absence to be felt as a presence in a lot of other places there has to be a lot of presence. No hole is visible unless there is a solid that you can make the hole in. Questions follow.
Dalibor Veseley argues: there is something inherent, crucial about the definition of concept which somehow ultimately leads to the point where it started; nothingness. Vesely starts with a hope for optimistic view. Architecture is conceptual, and further, the whole world we live in is conceptual. Day dreaming is already something that some would like to call conceptualization.
Symposium over two days speakers include; Will Alsop, Peter Eisenman, Charles Jencks, Peter Cook, Cedric Price, Bernard Tschumi, David Stezaker, Colin Rowe, Dalibor Vesely, Jo Rykwert, Rosalee Goldberg. Chairman Bob Maxwell.
A lecture by Chantal Mouffe, Professor of Political Theory and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, London.
"A political theorist educated at the universities of Louvain, Paris, and Essex, Chantal Mouffe is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Westminster. She has taught at many universities in Europe, North America and Latin America, and has held research positions at Harvard, Cornell, the University of California, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. Between 1989 and 1995 she was Directrice de Programme at the College International de Philosophie in Paris." [source]
As background reading for her lecture, she recommends her book On the Political (Routledge, 2005). For more information and samples of Prof. Mouffe's writings, visit her web page.